For foot pain patients who feel like they have tried everything, the promise of new treatment options is very exciting. When those treatments do not involve surgery or months of physical therapy, it is even more exciting. At Center Grove Foot & Ankle Care in Indianapolis, our podiatrist is pleased to offer two cutting-edge treatments for plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and other painful conditions. Dr. Runkle is trained and experienced in the use of platelet-rich plasma treatment and Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT) for a variety of injuries. While these treatments are not right for every patient, Dr. Runkle is happy to discuss them with patients who have tried other therapies for heel and foot pain and are unhappy with the results.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment
Ten years ago, platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) was primarily a specialized treatment reserved for professional athletes. Today, it is used to treat a variety of soft tissue and joint ailments with remarkable success. In the treatment, blood is taken from the patient and run through a centrifuge, which separates out the platelets. This portion of the blood is then injected into the injured tendon or ligament. Platelets promote growth and healing and can actually help regenerate damaged fibers, producing much faster healing without the need for surgery. PRP has been used to treat the following conditions successfully:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Arthritic joints
- Overuse injuries
Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT)
Another non-invasive option for plantar fasciitis, heel spur syndrome, and Achilles tendonitis that have not improved with physical therapy, orthotics, or other conservative treatments is Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT) or shockwave therapy. While it may sound extreme, this treatment is completely painless and can be very effective for some patients. The procedure is similar to getting an ultrasound. After a manual exam to locate the trigger point in the heel or ankle, gel is applied and the EPAT device is positioned to apply ultrasonic waves to the injured area.
Some patients report pain relief immediately after three weekly treatments, but others won’t see results for several weeks after treatment has concluded. Advantages of this therapy include:
- Short, in-office procedure
- No anesthesia
- No scarring
- No risk of infection
- No downtime
- Quick results
When other treatments have not been effective, shockwave therapy may be a way to find relief without having surgery. After an in-office assessment, Dr. Runkle will discuss this option with you if you are a good candidate. Insurance does not generally cover this procedure, but our office can work out a payment plan to make it affordable.
Always Taking a Conservative Approach
At Center Grove Foot & Ankle Care, we always start with the least expensive, least invasive treatment options. Beginning with over-the-counter pain relievers, rest, and simple shoe padding, Dr. Runkle will not recommend extensive physical therapy, orthotics, PRP treatment, or EPAT unless these initial treatments are ineffective. Surgery is always a last resort, but Dr. Runkle is a board-certified surgeon with hospital privileges at both Franciscan and Community Hospitals and is highly qualified to perform any necessary surgical procedures.
While we are pleased to offer state-of-the-art treatments, we do not push them on our patients or use them unnecessarily. Schedule an appointment in our office for an evaluation of your condition and we will discuss all of your options for recovery.